|Michael Rosedale displaying his medals|
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Thursday, April 19, 2012
By: Caitlin Megonigal
The week of April 16th is Earth Week. Earth week is a week where people all around the world come together in support for a sustainable and healthier Earth. At Frostburg State University, in celebration for Earth Week, the Universities Lane Center held Focus Frostburg on April 18th, 2012. Focus Frostburg consists of presentations done by both faculty and students at Frostburg State University to inform the public on sustainability and climate awareness. Also, in the Armah were posters done by students in support for Earth Day.
One presentation that was particularly interesting was done by the Campus Tree Advisory Committee. The Campus Tree Advisory Committee is currently working to become recognized as a Tree Campus USA organization by the Arbor Day Foundation. Tree Campus USA is an organization that promotes the planting of trees on campus. Mitch Hall a senior studying Ethnobotany, who is also the student representative for CTAC said that there are five things the CTAC has to do to become part of Tree Campus USA. These five things are service learning events, a campus tree campaign, dedicated expenditures, an Arbor Day event, and a committee. Also, Mitch said that the committee has applied for three grants in order to obtain money for tree planting.
The four speakers at the CTAC presentation were Mitch Hall, Laura Smith, Don Weston, and Larry Shockley. Mitch Hall, who did most of the speaking, was actually asked to be on the CTAC committee by Dr. Sunshine Brosi, faculty at Frostburg State University. “I got adopted into the program. I’m on the Frostburg City Urban Forestry Commission, so because of that and the fact that I am a student at FSU, Dr. Brosi asked me to be on the committee,” stated Mitch. Watching the presentation one could tell that Mitch is very passionate about the environment and making Frostburg State University a “greener” campus. “If you have ever seen an overhead shot of Atlanta Georgia you’ll know there is nothing that compares to it. There is no place that does a better job when it comes to canopy cover than Atlanta,” stated Mitch. Mitch hoped that one day Frostburg will be like that; but he says that the University still has a long way to go. The picture at the top is the satellite view of Atlanta, Georgia.
One of the five steps that the CTAC has to do to be recognized as a Tree Campus USA organization was to do service learning events. To fill this requirement the CTAC will be holding a tree planting event for the Day of Caring and Sharing on April 21, 2012. “Future service learning projects also will deal with getting students involved in tree planting on campus,” stated Mitch. The trees that the CTAC will plant are those that are 10-12 feet above ground, and that will mainly like the sidewalk. “It’s hard to say what kind of trees, without the money we don’t really know. But Downy Serviceberry would be nice,” said Mitch. Another one of the five steps included having a dedicated expenditures plan. “To become Tree Campus USA, we have to spend a certain amount of money on each student a year,” said Mitch. Mitch estimated that it was about $2 a year per person they would have to spend. The committee, which was the final requirement to become Tree Campus USA, consists of Dr. Sunshine Brosi, Dr. David Puthoff, Lawrence Gingerich, Liz McDowell, Greg Partsch and the student representative Mitch Hall.
Surprisingly though the presentation focused a lot on statistics and whether or not students thought that the University should plant more trees or not. Some statistics were quite surprising. According to the presentation approximately 95% of students at Frostburg State University grew up with shade trees in their yard or near where they lived. Also, 100% of the students said that there was room for more trees on campus. Mitch also discussed if the students felt they could study better near a tree and many of them agreed that they did.
The Campus Tree advisory committee won’t know if they have been accepted as a Tree Campus USA organization till the end of the semester. But until then they will continue to work hard to promote a green and sustainable Frostburg. Overall the group seemed very enthusiastic about their work and Mitch Hall even cracked a few jokes within presenting slides.
|Mimi's photo of rue|
Looking at the photo to the left, what place would you think that is a picture of? A forest? A park? None of the above.
If you want to learn even more about green burials visit www.greenburialcouncil.org
|John T. Baxter educates the students on the importance of a healthy environment.|
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
As much as we celebrate Mother Nature through these sustainability events, we must also honor our “siblings” of the Earth. This is the concept of the visual art display, Our Sisters the Trees. Coordinated by FSU visual arts professor, Susan Dodge, and created by students, the outdoor artwork is set up to “convey a sense of respect for nature and the environment”. The students designed and constructed sculptures on the various trees around campus. These sculptures are made of various materials and illustrate the importance of nature, as well as ways in which we can protect the environment.
Below are just a few of the beautiful and meaningful works of art:
These sculptures, adding a burst of color and texture to the trees of campus, definitely catch the eyes of FSU students as they travel back and forth between classes. When asked what single word comes to mind, several students had very interesting responses about the art projects. Tikki Harding, a junior liberal studies major from Frostburg, commented on a particularly colorful tree, pictured left in the line-up. “RNA. It illustrates sustainability because RNA can rebuild from new proteins which is like when people can grow a tree from their food, like an apple!” She explained how the bubbles on the tree resembled RNA and that this is an example of sustainability because we should reuse the seeds from our food in order to grow more. “Recycle.” This was the word spoken by Shayna Kramer, a junior communication studies major from Bowie, Maryland, when she saw the tree-art pictured in the center. She clarified, “We should and need to recycle to help the environment.” The last tree, viewed by Veronica Morris, a freshman elementary education major from Hagerstown, Maryland, reacted with the word “shield” when she saw the tree pictured in the right of the array. “To me it seems like a superhero trying to save the environment.”
Rebuilding, recycling, saving. These are all words that are definitely relevant when discussing environmental sustainability. Our Sister the Trees brings an appealing art exhibit to campus while evoking thought and awareness. For those of you who are interesting in the protection of nature, but unenthusiastic about learning through a lecture, this is the perfect exhibit! If you would like to see these lovely sculptures, they are located in the area surrounding Echo Circle (between the library and Dunkle Hall). Also, if you are interested in the FSU visual arts department, you can visit their website at the following link: http://www.frostburg.edu/dept/art/
Wednesday, April 18th marks an important day for campus-wide education on environmental sustainability at Frostburg State University. Presentations ranging from topics such as sustainable energy systems, biodegradable plastics, and economic botany ran from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm in the Lane Center.
On the first floor, dozens of trifold poster board presentations were erected throughout the gymnasium. “I do my best to recycle,” states Ben Phillips, an Information Technology senior from Fork, Maryland. “It’s important for all students, including myself, to attend these lectures to further our knowledge on sustainability.” Ben was examining a counter-expose on Climate Gate, the supposed scandal involving hackers gaining access to the emails of scientists from universities across the globe allegedly fudging global warming data to make it seem more problematic. It is now widely accepted that certain lines in the emails were picked and taken entirely out of context.
Anne Gingerich, a resident of Frostburg and volunteer at the event points out a few interesting exhibits at the function. “A lot of these presentations are extremely up to date,” claims Anne. “The new land grab is really gaining attention lately.” As the polar ice caps melt, new land is being made available for mining. Global companies are scrambling to snatch up the mineral-rich land for harvest. “Of course big business will acknowledge global warming when there’s money to be made from it,” Anne asserts.
Other exhibits deal with more sensitive topics. One presentation focusing on the use of depleted uranium in Iraq had a particularly strong emotional effect on most in attendance. “People see pictures and they tend to pause and really take it in, really think about what we’re doing to our environment and to our fellow human beings.” The presentation featured a slide of photographs involving children in Iraq being born with severe deformities due to radiation poisoning.
Lawrence Gingerich, Safety and Sustainability Coordinator at FSU, expresses satisfaction over the attention that the event has received. His presentation, titled FSU Student Energy Audit, focused on finding problematic areas of energy “leakage” in buildings on campus. “We’re trying to cut down on energy consumption campus-wide. In a nutshell, we analyze how much energy each building consumes and figure out where we can cut back.”
Overall, Mr. Gingerich is happy with student turnout at Focus Frostburg. “The earlier presentations saw a decline in attendance because of the average students’ dislike for mornings.” He professes hope for campus-wide environmental education and awareness. “I’ve been here two years and have witnessed an increase in the amount of care students show toward making our world more sustainable.”
“Politically, our voices are heard with our votes.” Lawrence stresses the need for citizens to unite with new environmental ideals and “do all they can to collectively help reduce the stress we impose on our world.” Mr. Gingerich emphasizes the need for increased environmental education among the older population. “The baby boomers are numerous. We’ve got to be willing to scale back our arguments a bit. If you’re new to the topic, it’s quite hard to wrap your mind around things like global warming.”